Many business owners and organizations have the same types of questions when deciding to invest in a website. If the information you are seeking is not found here, however, please contact us and we will do our best to answer your specific questions directly.
Your website will serve as a virtual customer service representative for your business 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Your current and potential clients and customers can access your business website at any time to get information about your company's goods and services, location, contact information, management team or any other unique aspects of your business you desire to make available. With an e-commerce site, visitors can purchase goods and services directly from your site when your business is normally off-hours. With a company website, the doors to your business are never closed!
Plus, more and more people are searching the internet for businesses and organizations FIRST, before the even look at a phone book. Individuals who are looking at relocating into an area, will most often look up the town in their favorite search engine, with various words pertaining to the businesses and services they are looking for in that town, and will call those businesses or services before any other, because they were easier to find, and conscientious about staying current in their methods of helping people find them. If you do not have a website, you are losing a vast amount of potential business!
There are some very realizable benefits that your company can achieve with a presence on the web. Some include the following:
1. Increase your client or customer base. With over 238 MILLION people using the Internet in North America (and over 1.3 BILLION around the world!), the potential for reaching new clients is nearly limitless. Usage of the Internet grows daily, and unless you establish a web presence soon, you could be left behind while your competitors become a familiar face to your client base.
2. Increased customer satisfaction. Because of its extensive reach and availability, a website can help your company provide better service, better information, better support, and help you develop a stronger relationship with your customers. A presence on the Internet also tells your customers that you are staying current with technology, which is a reflection of how well you stay current in your industry.
3. Your company can relay important information to your client base instantaneously and in a cost-effective manner. Updates to your website can be accessed simultaneously by thousands at the click of a mouse. Posting critical, late-breaking information on your company website is the most cost-effective way of distributing information quickly to a large audience. Updates or new advertising can be made at any time of the day, all at a much lower cost than traditional advertising methods. If you are an organization that sends out newsletters by mail, save hundreds to thousands of dollars a year on mailing costs by making an electronic version of your newsletter available online.
4. A website that can answer common questions about your company will increase the effectiveness of your staff. Rather than spending valuable time on the phone responding to ordinary informational questions, your staff can attend to important day-to-day tasks with fewer interruptions.
If you are to end up with an effective website that will meet your needs, there are several areas that will require some thought and preparation. Most basic is determining your main objective for having a website. Will it be for informational purposes only? For selling products online? For disseminating documents to your customers, clients or members? Once you've determined the main objective of your website, other major considerations will be:
target audience - industry, income, age
design and theme - logos, colors, feel
domain name - web address
website content - products, services
level of interactivity - forms, feedback
As a starting point, visit the websites of some of your competitors. See what they are doing and if their websites appeals to you. If not, you know what to avoid!
For site content, helpful items include any existing brochures, flyers and/or advertisements. Also, any electronic versions of logos and photographs can be incorporated into your site.
If you are interested in evaluating and putting down your thoughts for a website, be sure to go to our Resources page and fill out the Website Design Client Worksheet document found there. Then you will be prepared to tell us exactly what you have in mind when you contact us or submit a request for an free quote.
As you might find from our Pricing Page, there are quite a few factors that are going to affect the ultimate cost of your web site. These factors include how many pages you are going to have, if you plan to sell products on your website, the graphic work involved, and how interactive your future web site will be. You will also need web hosting and domain name registration. If your needs are simple, your costs will correlate. Informational sites with four or five basic pages, including a contact form, can generally be designed for approximately $350-$700, with some plans as low as $199! A domain name (i.e. www.yourcompanyname.com) and hosting services can generally be procured for an additional fee of $6.99 per year, depending upon your site needs. Adding more pages and/or special features, such as guest books, databases, Flash, animated menus or graphics, news scrollers, etc., will increase the cost. Also, content composition, editing and data entry can add to the cost of your site. To get an estimate for your business website, go to our free quote page and submit our online request form for a cost-free estimate.
With nearly 30,000,000 domain names already in use, what are the chances you will get the domain name you want for your business? The only way to know is to execute a domain search, which you can find on our Resources page. Once you've determined that a name is available, it is wise to purchase it right away. Over 900,000 new domain names are registered every day. (That's 37,500 per hour!) Waiting even one day may give someone else the opportunity to register the name you want before you get the chance. Names with top level domain designations of .com, .net, .org and .biz can be purchased for the very low rate of $6.99 per year. Alpha Web Solutions will be happy to help you secure your domain name at that price.
Choosing your domain name depends on how you are going to use it. If you are going to be telling people over the phone, choose one that is easy to say and spell out loud. Above all, I would choose one that is memorable and not confusing.
Interesting domain name facts:
total active domain names: 100,876,278
Source: Domain Tools, 2008
total active .com domain names: 74,620,296
(74% of all active domain names)
Source: Domain Tools, 2008
Yes! You have two options. POP3 email addresses can be created, which can be accessed using an email client such as Outlook, Outlook Express or Eudora; or email aliases can be created, which will show your domain name in the email address, but will be forwarded to an already existing email account, i.e. email@example.com could forward to firstname.lastname@example.org.
AlphaWeb Solutions will design your website, and uses One and One Hosting Services to host your site at a more economical rate. Unless you have an alternative preference, we have found a One and One to be reliable and economical. We will contract services for you, or you may contract them yourself, if you wish. Depending on your website needs, rates range from approximately $60.00 per year ($5.00/mo.) for standard hosting, while e-commerce sites with shopping cart capabilities and secure transaction encryption begin at approximately $360.00 per year ($30.00/mo.).
The length of design time can vary depending on the number of pages and features. However, a simple site with 6-7 pages can be created and on the web in as little as a few weeks with prompt delivery of professionally written content from you for the site. If you need editing services for your site content, we can provide that as well.
Yes! We redesign websites to make them easier to navigate and much more appealing to the eye. A redesign also gives you the opportunity to rework the text and content of your site to bring it up-to-date.
Web Site Content - What Do I Put On My Site?
That would depend on the goals of your web site. If you run a business website you would include as much information about your products or services that your customers would need to purchase from you.
We certainly are capable of incorporating Flash into your site; however, we feel Flash is best suited for media-oriented sites (movies, music, gaming, etc) but is not appropriate for use on many business web sites. Most search engines have a difficult time with Flash, as do people with slower internet connections or older browsers. So you should certainly consider your marketing audience when determining whether or not to add Flash to your site.